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“Intergenerational Learning” top 5 trend for 2017 according to Sodexo

by on March 2, 2017

There are apparently 5 Global Workplace Trends for 2017 according to Sodexo.  Their research approach here is intriguing as according to their website: “We looked at global news sources focused on HR and the workplace and selected 10 trends relevant to Sodexo based on the services we offer and/or the way we partner with clients. Nearly 50 subject matter experts were consulted. Secondary source material and statistics were compiled from global news sources and research databases“.

The five proposed trends are:

  1. Next Generation Robotics
  2. Personal Branding (including by employees)
  3. Intergenerational Learning.
  4. Wellness in the Workplace (also described as Wellness 3.0)
  5. The Rise of Cross-Workplaces (rather disappointingly this is not organisations full of angry employees but a new iteration of collaborative working and work spaces)

So as you can guess I wanted to find out more about the new trend of ‘Intergenerational Learning‘.  This apparently requires ‘intergenerational agility’ to develop a new approach to talent management to take advantage of the ‘experience economy’ (I think this means older workers).   And I quote:  “Catalyzing intergenerational experience is a new source of competitive advantage that benefits all generations and organizations. Youth have specially focused knowledge, while older adults often bring collective knowledge about the culture and dynamic of work“.  We also need to celebrate “intergenerativity—the creativity that emerges from reciprocal exchanges across diverse identities, professions, ethnicities and ages” although given the list that seems like just plain old creativity to me!  But don’t worry, leaders in these new organisations will have ‘generational intelligence’ (seriously!) and therefore ‘the capacity to be aware of generational positions and to approach workforce management with a generational lens in mind.’ 

There are some good points in here about the need to avoid generational stereotypes for example (shortly after a sentence that reinforces them!) but the buzz words and jargon are completely overwhelming.  This reflects our long held concern that as a generational ‘problem’ at work has been constructed so the ‘solutions’ will emerge, packaged in commercially viable ways by consultants and the like.



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